We’ve run our annual “girl power” list for seven years now, and tweaked the rules from time to time – originally we had a top ten under 25, and last year we expanded that to a top 20 under 30.
This year we’re compromising on a top 15, in part because heavy-hitters like Natalie Portman and Michelle Williams (and this year’s discovery, Jessica Chastain) no longer qualify, but also because as yet, there is very little room to choose between the likes of Juno Temple, Blake Lively, Emily Browning, Felicity Jones and Zoe Kravitz. All are excellent prospects, but as yet none has really shown us more than flashes of potential. We’ve also sidelined some more established stars, like Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johansson for example, Abbie Cornish and Ellen Page… excellent actresses who command high salaries, but who haven’t shown us their best work this past year.
Better to consider this list a spot-check; a snapshot of whose careers are in the ascendant right now, based on the reception of their releases over the past 12 months, and on our best guesses about the projects they have lined up for the next year or so. To arrive at our rankings, we do look at the box office, and also at awards and critical reception – but also, less scientifically, we try to take the measure of career momentum by looking at the caliber of these actresses’ projects and collaborators, the kind of roles they they are playing and the buzz they are generating. It’s an inexact science to say the least, but if we have omitted True Grit discovery Hailee Steinfeld, for example, that’s not because she was less than terrific in the movie, it’s just that so far, there is no evidence this is anything more than a one-off, and we will have to wait and see if the planned Romeo And Juliet film she has lined up for 2012 proves otherwise.
15. Rooney Mara
Debits: The Spirit, Scoop, The Nanny Diaries, The Island, Home Alone 3
Easily the best thing about the Nightmare on Elm Street remake (she was Nancy), Rooney Mara impressed David Fincher in her relatively small role as the girl who isn’t impressed by Mark Zuckerberg at the beginning of The Social Network. So much so, he chose her for probably the most hotly contested female lead of the year, Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It’s a career-defining role, and who better than Fincher to lead you through it? At the same time, the sexually explicit teaser poster for this movie has a lot of fans worried about where Hollywood is taking it.
Source: Love Film